CALIFORNIA: WOMEN’S HEALTH BILLS MOVE THROUGH LEGISLATURE
Two bills that seek to improve the health care provided toThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
women through HMOs and a bill guaranteeing patients the right to
a second opinion passed the California Assembly yesterday. They
were "the second set of bills approved this year by the Assembly"
that apply pressure on the managed care industry, LOS ANGELES
TIMES reports. One measure (AB 7), would require HMOs and other
health insurers to cover at least a 48-hour hospital stay after a
woman undergoes a mastectomy. The bill would allow a woman to
waive that right after consultation with her doctor, and would
also establish a minimum 24-hour hospital stay for lymph node
dissections. Another bill (AB 160) would require insurers to
cover the costs of FDA-approved contraceptives. The second-
opinion legislation (AB 341), sponsored by Assemblyman Michael
Sweeney (D), passed the Assembly by a 48-15 vote.
CHANCES ARE: According to the TIMES, many Republicans
charged that "the Legislature was trying to micro-manage the
medical profession." The TIMES reports that it remains
"unclear" whether any of the bills passed by the Assembly would
become law. While they are "expected to receive a friendly
hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee,"
similar contraceptive measures were turned back in the last two
years. A spokesperson for Gov. Pete Wilson (R) "said it would be
premature for the governor to comment on this year's package of
bills" (Vanzi, 5/20).